How Curling Leaves On Rhododendrons Act Like A Thermometer

Close up of pink rhododendron flowers on a shrub

Do you ever look at your plant leaves to tell the temperature outside? You could, if you have rhododendrons, and people have been doing it for over a century. When the weather drops, you’ll see your rhododendron leaves curling – and yes, it’s a real phenomenon called “thermotropic” leaf movements. Read on for all the details. Leaves Curling on Rhododendron Whether you have rhodies in your garden or not, you likely know what the leaves look like. Normally, rhododendron leaves are flat and extend horizontally from the plant. But when temperatures dip significantly in winter, you may see those leaves coiled and hanging like dark green beans, as one gardener expressed it. That this happens is indisputable. As early as the 1800s, scientists noticed this phenomenon and tried to understand it. Why do the leaves droop and curl in the cold, as if they were hugging themselves? Even today, many […]

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